Outgoing Belmopan Mayor Raises Concerns Over RECONDEV

Outgoing Belmopan Mayor Raises Concerns Over RECONDEV

Outgoing Belmopan Mayor Sheran “Sharon” Palacio, is raising an issue over the Reconstruction and Development Corporation (RECONDEV) as she prepares to demit office. RECONDEV was the body charged with the development and administration of Belmopan from its inception in 1970 until it became a full city back in 2000. Palacio says she believes that RECONDEV should no longer exist so that future Belmopan Mayors can administrate the city, free from ministerial interference. 

Sharon Palacio, Mayor of Belmopan: “And it is not just me. It has happened so many times in the past. So as far as I’m concerned there shouldn’t even be a RECONDEV for example. City Council should be the ultimate body taking care of everything. And then the minister, any minister that comes along there should be something properly defined. I would never want for another mayor to face what I’ve faced whereby constant interference and then make it seem as if though this Black Garifuna Woman from down south as if though she’s so cantankerous and always looking for problems. So personally if you’ve studied it when last I’ve ever interviewed with you ? I’ve decided to shut up right ?”

Her sentiments were mirrored by her predecessor, Anthony Chanona, the first Mayor of Belmopan. Chanona said that he experienced the same interference that Palacio spoke of and feels that solving the issue with RECONDEV is something that needs to be addressed at the constitutional level. 

Anthony Chanona, Former Mayor of Belmopan City: “When the city first started back in 2000 I had my clash also with the then, God rest the dead, Agripino Cawich but we were able to sort things out and maybe because he had a constituency in Cayo South and I told him that the act doesn’t speak to an area rep there’s nowhere in that Act does the area rep have municipal authority it is vested in the mayor and  the councilors end of story. So this question of RECONDEV has to be revisited. We’re going to the polls but there cannot be two authorities in the city and RECONDEV is tax payers money and when I was in office Ralph Fonseca he is still alive very clearly sat down with myself and Pino Cawich and I said, read the Riot Act to Mr.Cawich that RECONDEV exists for the development of Belmopan and the funds from RECONDEV were to be given to the city of Belmopan. We worked out a formula so that the mayor could work. If I had a good run in my term it was because there was an arrangement that funded the city hall for infrastructure development. As it is there is development taking place in this city that the mayor has no knowledge of and this happens in every municipality. They need to put that in the constitution and embed the issue of the role of the local government so all these things can serve for good because we’re seeing the problems it creates.”

Sheran Palacio was elected back in 2021, and will not be seeking re-election next week in the municipals.

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